The Puerto Rican rapper Eladio Carrión released his debut album, Sauce Boyz, in the first weeks of 2020, stockpiling the 16-song LP with clever, comedic wordplay and sonic experiments that swerved from thudding, dramatic drill to caustic trap corridos. To the delight of his fans, he’s kept the franchise going since then: That summer, he spruced up some of the Sauce Boyz tracks with updates and remixes that he collected onto his Sauce Boyz Care Package, and this past December, he dropped Sauce Boyz 2, a new album that extends his sound and represents his wildest musical turn yet.
Sauce Boyz 2 is still heavy on the slick, undaunted rhymes that have made Carrión a standout as a rapper, yet his production choices go brilliantly haywire as he and his collaborators spike beats with jumpy, extra-caffeinated electronic breaks and sudden shocks of icy synth-pop. Songs such as “Sin Frenos” explode with jolts of energy, while “Hola Como Vas” and “Flores en Anónimo” free Carrión up for more melodic, emotionally-driven deliveries. His wordplay and lyricism stay razor-sharp: “No Te Deseo Mal,” which features Karol G, is one of the funniest songs in Latin music right now, highlighting his background as a comedian and adding the kind of sarcastic pettiness missing from far too many break-up ballads. (A sample from Karol’s lyrics: “Espero que te quedes sin gasolina de camino a tu boda/Que venga la policía, que encuentren cocaína con baking soda.”)
In a phone call from Spain, Carrión took Rolling Stone through his favorite songs on the album and explained how he got Bad Bunny to make a surprise appearance on “No Te Deseo Mal”; how he thinks about collaborations; and why he thinks this “no-skips” project offers a brand new side of him.
“No Te Deseo Mal”
I was thinking about the video the whole time I was making this song and laughing — that’s one of the reasons the lines are so vivid. When it comes out, you’re going to see the beach and then a shark and all the stuff that we’re joking about. The line that made me laugh the most was Karol’s, when she says she hopes the police finds all that stuff in the car. I had talked to her about doing a remix of another song, but when she heard this, I got a call that was like, “Karol wants that one!” She’s saying all this stuff that she wouldn’t normally say. It’s hilarious. Bad Bunny was in the studio the day we recorded. We had gone to a Lakers game, and we were just chilling and he kept giving little pointers during the process. He’s the one that goes, “Karol, no sea’ mala.”
“Flores en Anónimo”
This song is so left-field from what I would usually do, but I think that’s why people love it. People wouldn’t imagine me doing this in a million years. Elikai is the producer, and he’s a beast. He went crazy on it — he’s a kid. He’s like 19 years old, but he’s amazing. Usually, when I’m making music, I record on loops and melodies and then I put the drums on, and I finish the beat. I have direction and I know where I want to take the production. But this time, I had the melodies recorded, but I didn’t have the drums or beat or anything. I gave it to Elikai and I said, “Bro, do whatever you want to do.” Hours later, he had that. I think it’s the type of song people like to hear because they feel identified in it. I don’t even think it’s what I’m saying, but how I’m expressing it. It’s a little like “Adiós” on Monarca that people just love, where it’s a heartfelt song and you’re in a trance.
“Alejarme de Ti”
This was one of the first songs to come out. That track was already done, and I was looking for someone to put on who would be amazing. When I showed it to Wheeler, I was like, “Oh my God, he’s the one.” He loved this song. He would hit me up every day like, “Bro, when is the song coming out?” I’ve known Wheeler since he started — super-humble kid, super-dorky, quirky, but in such a good way. He’s just cool to be around, and he’s always looking for new ways to present his music, and I respect him a lot. His voice is crazy. The way he bodied that was crazy. He couldn’t have done a better job. I never put people on songs unless it needs it, so every song that has a feature on it, the feature is there because I really imagined that person on the beat. When I did “Miradas Raras,” I thought of Sech. When the beat changed on “Socio,” I said, “Damn, I think Luar La L would kill that.” It’s just me visualizing people on the music and being with them so it can be exactly how I imagine it.
“Touch Your Body”
It’s a song I’m singing in English, and people love to hear me sing in English. We’re going to remix it soon and it’s going to be even cooler. It’s something new — I don’t put out a lot of English music so when I do, I think it catches people by surprise. Right now, things mostly come to me in Spanish, even though my first language is English — but I’ve been practicing writing in Spanish so long that it comes quicker now. When I put out music, I freestyle and I add whatever kind of comes to me. It made me want to write more in English, but I don’t want to push it, either. If I find the right beat or the right time, I’ll do it, but if it doesn’t feel right, I won’t. Latin America is picky about that type of crossover.
“Quiénes Son Ustedes”
It was going to be one of the Sauce Boy Freestyles, but I ended up releasing it as a separate track. It’s me lamenting and talking about the state of mind I’m in and where I’ve made it to. I was thinking a lot about where I’ve made it to. With this album, I wanted to close the year on a high note — it’s the third album in one year, after Monarca and Sen2 Kbrn, Vol. 1, and I’m feeling grateful but at the same time overwhelmed with everything that’s happened. It comes with a lot of responsibility and a lot of work, and I’m getting used to the position it’s put me in. The goal I wanted to achieve here was making a long album that had no skips — 22 songs and each one would have its own personality. I think we achieved that.
The funny thing is, me and Bizarrap sat down to try and do the intro track for the album. We did a song that we never finished and then after that, we started making this. I was like, “Whoa. We don’t have an intro for the album, but we have a track here.” It’s a super-fun song — I don’t know why there’s not a TikTok dance, I might do one myself. [Laughs.] It’s hyperpop and all these electronic sounds. That’s just Biza. I’ve always loved the scene in Argentina. I got hooked on them during the Duki wave, the Cazzu wave, in like 2017 or 2018. I generally liked their music and how they carried themselves in the underground scene and their shows. I love the scene in Spain and Venezuela, too, and I’ve met a lot of people that share the same mind-set music-wise. You’re always going to see me collaborating with people all over the world.